Obama: Sanders made Clinton a better candidate
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President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaDemocrats need a coherent response to attacks on critical race theory Blinken meets representative of Dalai Lama in India Obama to join NBA Africa as strategic partner MORE commended Bernie SandersBernie SandersBriahna Joy Gray: White House thinks extending student loan pause is a 'bad look' Lawmakers can't reconcile weakening the SALT cap with progressive goals Human rights can't be a sacrificial lamb for climate action MORE for his presidential campaign, both for its impact on voters and his rival Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden says Russia spreading misinformation ahead of 2022 elections Highest-ranking GOP assemblyman in WI against another audit of 2020 vote Women's March endorses Nina Turner in first-ever electoral endorsement MORE.


During an appearance on "The Tonight Show" with Jimmy Fallon taped Wednesday, Obama called the heated primary "a healthy thing for the Democratic Party." 

"I thought that Bernie Sanders brought enormous energy and new ideas. And he pushed the party and challenged them. I thought it made Hillary a better candidate," he said.

Obama, who is not expected to make a formal endorsement of Clinton until after he meets with Sanders at the White House Thursday, nontheless praised his former secretary of State.

"I think she is whip smart. She is tough. And she deeply cares about working people and putting kids through school and making sure we're growing our economy," he said.

Obama said it's normal for there to be lingering tensions at the end of a tough primary, as there were between him and Clinton in 2008.

"My hope is, is that over the next couple of weeks, we're able to pull things together. And what happens during primaries, you get a little ouchy. Everybody does," he said.